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Robin Williams: Parkinson's Disease may yield answers to his suicide

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Robin William's suicide at his California home continues to confound most of us that loved him. Now perhaps, an answer may be on the horizon.

Robin's wife said Thursday that he was actually sober, but struggling with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease at the time of his death. Susan Schneider released a statement today that indicated the beloved actor was suffering from the debilitating disease of Parkinson's, according to NBC News on August 14.

As most of the world continues to try to come to grips with why such a talented and enigmatic icon would take his life, this may add to the answer. Williams was so physical in his comedy and acting, that perhaps the Parkinson's was just too overwhelming.

Also, depression, from which he already suffered from, is also an offshoot of Parkinson's Disease. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, during the initial phase of the disease, a patient usually experiences mild symptoms.

Typical symptoms may inconvenience the day-to-day tasks the patient might otherwise complete with ease. Usually these symptoms include the presence of tremors or experiencing shaking in one of the limbs, according to CNN.

Some of the warning signs that friends and family can perhaps detect, are changes including poor posture, loss of balance and abnormal facial expressions. Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of brain cells that produce a message carrying-chemical, or neurotransmitter, that is important for movement.

Symptoms may start with a barely noticeable trembling but worsen to difficulty walking and talking, depression and other disability. There’s no cure and the drugs used to treat the condition usually stop helping over time.

According to his wife's statement, Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Entertaining millions on stage, film or television, and additionally our troops on the frontlines of the battlefield, or comforting a sick child, Robin always wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

His wife also said that since his passing, all who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of fans whose lives he touched.

"Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

"It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid."

Williams had been known to struggle with depression and addiction. After his suicide on Monday at age 63, Parkinson's advocate Michael J. Fox tweeted his respects to the comic legend, calling him "famously kind, ferociously funny, a genius and a gentle soul."

Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of brain cells that produce a message carrying-chemical, or neurotransmitter, that is important for movement. Symptoms can start with a barely noticeable trembling but worsen to difficulty walking and talking, depression and other disability. There’s no cure and the drugs used to treat the condition usually stop helping over time.

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